January 24, 2012 - Protecting intellectual property, protecting federal funding for R&D, and enabling friendlier export, tax, and other policies are the top priorities for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in 2013.
Top items on the SIA's 2013 policy roadmap, presented this week by president/CEO Brian Toohey:
- Facilitate open markets and protect intellectual property. As the semiconductor industry expands globally, promoting free and open international trade and safeguarding IP rights are paramount. Of particularly importance to the semiconductor industry: the updated Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, and the World Semiconductor Council (WSC).
- Support federal funding for university research. The fiscal cliff was averted only for a few months; looming concerns remain on federal spending for R&D investments in jeopardy. Key semiconductor research programs are in the spotlight the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.
- Streamline export control regulations. The semiconductor industry is one of the nation's top exporters, and the SIA supports "appropriate controls" on technologies tied to national security -- but wants relief on areas that "stifle" US competitiveness abroad, such as "troublesome rad-hard requirements" and satellite decontrol legislation, while pushing for reform of IC controls..
- Reform the corporate tax system. America's tax structure blocks possible pathways to innovation to enhance America’s competitiveness, and the SIA wants any tax legislation to "reflect the semiconductor industry’s core tax priorities: adoption of a lower rate, a territorial system, and incentives for innovation." Extension of the R&D tax credit through 2013 is a start, but needs to be expanded and made permanent.
- Improve security and authentication of semiconductor products. Proliferation of counterfeit semiconductors is a growing economic and national security concern. The SIA pledges to work with industry and government to advance legislation that stops counterfeit semiconductors from entering the US, promote stricter government procurement guidelines, enhance international efforts to stop counterfeiting at its source, and explore various research opportunities and technology solutions.
- Support sustainability practices and innovation development. "Certain environmental regulations, when applied broadly to all industries, could inappropriately undermine semiconductor design and manufacturing processes in the US," the SIA says. The semiconductor industry will keep working on environmental "stewardship" with an eye to keeping regulation of chemicals and other materials from limiting operations, product design, or future innovation.
"Through hard work and ingenuity, the semiconductor industry creates American jobs, drives U.S. economic growth and leads the global market. By enacting SIA’s Policy Roadmap in 2013, policymakers can further strengthen the industry and help unlock its full potential," Toohey writes.